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Lyme disease is the most common vector-borne human
disease in Europe and the United States. In Mexico, clinical cases suggestive of
Lyme borreliosis have been reported; however, infection was not confirmed by serologic or microbiologic tests.
To study the prevalence of IgG antibodies against Borrelia burgdorferi among Mexican persons, a community-based sero-survey including all states of Mexico was done. A sample of 2,890 sera representing individuals of all ages and all socioeconomic levels was studied. Antibodies anti-B. burgdorferi were determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) using a whole-cell sonicated extract of B. burgdorferi strain B31. Serum specimens positive for ELISA were further studied by Western blot (WB). A serum sample was considered positive by WB if at least three of the following protein bands were recognized: 18, 24, 28, 29, 31, 34, 39, 41, 45, 58, 62, 66, and 93 kDa. Some WB positive specimens were further confirmed with an immunodot-blot (IDB) test using recombinant and purified B. burgdorferi proteins.
Of the 2,890 specimens, 34 were positive for ELISA; nine of these 34 were confirmed as positive by WB. Four of the nine WB positive sera were tested by IDB and all four were positive. The prevalence of WB confirmed cases in the sample studied was 0.3%. Positive specimens were from residents of the northeastern and central areas of Mexico.
The serological evidences of this study suggest that Borrelia burgdorferi infection is present in the Mexican population. This finding should be confirmed by documenting the infection in clinical cases and in tick vectors.